Saturday, January 23, 2010

So Much to Blog, So Little Time...

I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last post. Darn Facebook is getting all the attention; it's so easy to jump on there and dash off a quick note instead of a long post. There are things I want to blog about though that are of vital, VITAL I tell you, importance! I've learned a few new things about car safety this week that I want to share. (Well, one thing I knew but it needs to be said again and again.) The first was sent to me in a forward, one of those that circulates around the internet. If you haven't seen it, there are two bits of information having to do with driving in wet conditions. The first is to wear sunglasses when it rains to improve your visibility, which is kind of counter-intuitive but I've done it and it really works. The e-mail doesn't go into why it works, but for me my sunglasses reduce the glare from the rain. (Polarized sunglasses would probably be better for this purpose.) I realized this years ago and I keep a pair of lightly colored sunglasses in my car for that very reason. The second bit of info is DO NOT USE your cruise control in the rain or when the road is wet. While I haven't checked Snopes, it makes sense. Here's the explanation from the e-mail, which gives the example of a woman who crashed and her conversation with the police officer afterward:

"...The highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred."

Finally, Oprah did a show on texting while driving. I recorded it but haven't watched it yet, but she was talking about it in a later episode and summed up what the show was about. Terrible, tragic accidents caused by people on the phone or texting while driving. Basically driving distracted or impaired for ANY reason. She's right- when we are behind the wheel we can cause others to die if we screw up. So don't screw up- sign the pledge on Oprah's website and make YOUR car a "No Phone Zone", then pass the message on to others. In addition to the pledge, you can watch the show, and more importantly make any teens in your life watch it with you, on Oprah's website. This is especially important if we have kids in our lives- we have to set a positive example for them since they will be driving before you know it.

It's so easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when we drive; 99% of the time driving is simple and monotonous, but then that one thing happens, and if we are alert and paying attention, there's a chance we can get through unscathed. If we are distracted, however, we could kill somebody. That somebody could be ourselves, our children, someone else's child, someone else's mom or dad or sister or brother or best friend. If I managed to survive, I couldn't live with myself if I caused someone else's death through my own carelessness.

So if you try to reach me on my cell while I'm in the car, leave a voice mail since my phone will be OFF. I'll check in when I get where I'm going.

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